Lemon Cake Fail

Baking By hrnewbie Updated 25 Feb 2011 , 4:07pm by Loucinda

hrnewbie Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:31am
post #1 of 10

Ever have a night when nothing goes right? Tonight was it. I have baked lemon cake a dozen time with perfect results. Tonight I baked it and it was awful. Super dense, didn't rise, wet in the center, stuck to the pan, hard after it cooled...you name it, it happened. So I thought I must have done something wrong and baked another one. Guess what. Same exact results.

So it's in the fridge (I can't bear to throw them away yet) and I have no idea how to proceed other than to try a new lemon cake recipe tomorrow night. Thank goodness for CC and the recipes on here. Anything's better than the junk I baked tonight.

Any advice on what could have gone wrong?

9 replies
Normita Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:39am
post #2 of 10

Can you tell us a little about the recipe you use? I use this one and its yummy...never fails icon_smile.gif

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7371/amazing-lemon-cake-from-a-mix

cheatize Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:40am
post #3 of 10

There must be a lemon cake disease going around or something. This happened to me a week or two ago. After three tries, I subbed cake flour for the all purpose and Baker's sugar for the granulated. Success at last! Anyone want 3 failed lemon cakes?

hrnewbie Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:43am
post #4 of 10

Normita -- too funny! That's EXACTLY the one I just bookmarked as a favorite to do tomorrow night. Glad to hear it's worked for you because I am desperate for success.

The recipe is a Wilton recipe (http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Lemon-Cake-1) that I've used time and time again with great success. No idea why it suddenly crashed and burned this time.

Hopefully we'll see much better results tomorrow with the one you referenced.

Normita Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 5:50am
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrnewbie

Normita -- too funny! That's EXACTLY the one I just bookmarked as a favorite to do tomorrow night. Glad to hear it's worked for you because I am desperate for success.

The recipe is a Wilton recipe (http://www.wilton.com/recipe/Lemon-Cake-1) that I've used time and time again with great success. No idea why it suddenly crashed and burned this time.

Hopefully we'll see much better results tomorrow with the one you referenced.




I honestly, loooove that recipe!! I use it all the time with great success =) I usually add some princess bouquet flavoring from Lorann in addition to some lemon and the flavor is so good!! If you try it out tomorrow, let me know what you think. And the key is to not overbake it icon_biggrin.gif

Chellescakes Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 6:07am
post #6 of 10

It could be the thermostat on your oven.

FromScratchSF Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 6:24am
post #7 of 10

Sorry to say I always get sad when I see someone post a box recipe with a pudding mix as a quick solution to someone that tried a scratch recipe... I urge you to try your scratch again!!!

I just looked at that Wilton lemon cake - looks pretty good except lemons are FULL of acid, and the acid content changes with region, season, and how ripe your lemons are. Acid kills your baking powder, and this recipe calls for a ton of lemon juice. If I'm making a cake with any acid (including cinnamon, ginger, orange, buttermilk etc.) I always add a touch of baking soda even if the recipe doesn't call for it just to make sure the acid is neutralized.

I do 1/8 tsp. of soda for every 1 tsp. powder. You also get much better (and reliable) lemon flavor if you use the zest, which is full of oil that doesn't burn off when you cook it like using juice. I zest my lemons, add it to my pre-measured flour and rub it with my fingers to try and extract as much oil as I can. I still add juice as the recipe calls for.

Your butter could have also been too soft, butter should be 68 degrees or colder.

Good Luck!

Jen

FromScratchSF Posted 24 Feb 2011 , 6:30am
post #8 of 10

Oh oh oh I forgot to also mention that APF is the easiest to over-measure, making for a really dense cake. If you have a food scale I suggest weighing it. Conversion for APF is 1 cup=4.25 oz.

hrnewbie Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 12:15am
post #9 of 10

FromScratchSF, thank you so much for your advice. I'll try and increase the leavening agents to counteract the acidity of the lemons. I think Chellscake may have been on to something though as well so tonight I bought a thermometer for the inside of the oven and it's definitely a little off. (Can't believe I didn't have one of these and had to go buy it.)

Have to be honest though. After 2 failed attempts last night I'm scared as heck to try the same recipe again, even with the adjustments you suggested. I had the worst possible day at work and all it would take is one more failed cake to send me over the edge. Perhaps I"ll try it again this weekend.

I bought the ingredients for the recipe Normita shared this morning before work and so far it looks good. Crossing my fingers that it's fine for tonight. (Not a big box cake fan either but my preferences are being outweighed tonight by my mental health needs!)

Loucinda Posted 25 Feb 2011 , 4:07pm
post #10 of 10

I use a dr'd mix for lemon cake all the time. I also always add some lemon zest to my recipe, it adds that extra little zing! Hope this one turns out for you, sending good cake thoughts your way!

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